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"Jaws" Author Dead at 65

Peter Benchley, author of the novel "Jaws," has died at the age of 65 from pulmonary fibrosis, according to The New York Times. Benchley's other accomplishments have been largely overshadowed by the huge success of "Jaws," which was adpated by Steven Spielberg, with script assistance from Benchley himself, in 1975. The film is often cited as the first summer blockbuster, and it happened at a time when good films were able to linger in theaters for a while. People didn't see "Jaws" and forget about it. They talked about it for weeks.

Benchley had a cameo in "Jaws," as a television reporter who delivers a brief account of the situation that has the citizens of Amity in a state of near panic. Despite having been taken to task by the likes of Jacques Cousteau for making such a villain out of the great white shark, Benchley remained interested in marine conservation. In "Beast," his 1991 novel, he returned to the theme of a sea creature that terrorizes humans, but the giant squid of that book is motivated by hunger due to man-made environmental conditions.--Pete Mesling

Posted by Pete on February 13, 2006 7:48 AM
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